Call for papers: Making international law work for women post-conflict- new voices

Transition from conflict to durable peace, defined as more than merely an absence of hostilities, is without the doubt a key priority for states emerging from conflicts and situations of gross human rights violations. International law plays a major part in this complex process. However, feminist international lawyers have argued that the discipline of international law has been largely developed by men and in ways which reflect male experiences, therefore legitimising women’s unequal position both in the context of international law as well as in national and international affairs.

Traditionally, international law focused on the position of women in wars exclusively from the perspective of international humanitarian law, emphasizing special protection afforded to women (predominantly as civilians) during armed conflict. However, in recent years, more attention has been paid to the applicability of international law to post-conflict situations, including women in the context of conflict prevention, transitional justice and post-conflict reconstruction. For instance, the landmark General Recommendation 30 (2013) of the CEDAW Committee confirmed that ‘protecting women’s human rights at all times, advancing substantive gender equality before, during and after conflict and ensuring that women’s diverse experiences are fully integrated into all peacebuilding, peacemaking, and reconstruction processes are important objectives of the Convention’. Furthermore, questions of gender dimensions of transitional periods, as well as matters concerning gender, peace and security have been at the forefront of academic as well as institutional debates concerning international law, women and post-conflict situations.

Nevertheless, current developments have been largely focused on issues of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) and prosecution of gender-based crimes largely to the exclusion of other branches of international law, such as international refugee law or international economic law, and their application to women & post-conflict situations.

For instance, issues such as gendered impact of post-conflict migration, the impact of post-conflict economic policies on women, provision of effective and gender-sensitive reparations and securing women’s socio-economic rights have been addressed to a much lesser extent than criminal accountability for CRSV.

This workshop seeks to bring together early career researchers to explore new perspectives on international law, women and post-conflict situations. It will address the multifaceted challenges facing women in post-conflict situations and to explore ways in which international law can (and should) be put to work in order to effectively assist women and secure their rights in the aftermath of contemporary conflicts. Contributions which explore the interdisciplinary perspectives on this theme as well as those which reach beyond the question of accountability for CRSV are particularly welcome.

The workshop will also present an opportunity for early career researchers to share their research with experts in the field of international law, women, peace and security.

Deadline: Titles and abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent with a biography of no more than 100 words to Dr Olga Jurasz (il.newvoices@gmail.com) by 10am GMT on Monday 25 June 2018.

Participants will be asked to provide draft papers (4000 – 4500 words) in advance of the workshop.

Workshop: The workshop will be held on 26 and 27 November 2018 at Amnesty International, Human Rights Action Centre in London.

Eligibility: This is the workshop for early career researchers (max. 8 years from the award of a PhD or equivalent professional / research experience). Participation of early-career researchers from the Global South and conflict-affected countries is particularly welcome.

Funding: A limited number of travel & local accommodation grants are available for participants who are invited to present and would otherwise be unable to participate. Priority will be given to participants from the Global South and conflict-affected countries. If you wish to apply for a travel grant, please send the attached travel grant application together with your abstract. Please note that applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

IL new voices – travel grant application

Outputs: Selected papers from the workshop will be published in an edited collection in 2019.

This workshop is supported by funding from the British Academy and from the Open University Citizenship & Governance Strategic Research Area.

IL New voices Workshop CFP

 

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Call for submissions: The 3rd Women in War and at War Conference (15-16 September 2016)

The 3rd Women in War and at War Conference will take place on 15th and 16th September 2016 at The Open University Law School (Milton Keynes, UK). The conference is jointly organised by The Open University Law School, The University of Warwick and Aberystwyth University.

Abstracts of maximum of 250 words should be submitted by 30th June 2016 to womeninatwar@gmail.com. Authors of selected abstracts will be informed by 25th July 2016.

The full call for papers can be found here:

31st October 2015 marked the 15 year anniversary of the adoption of the landmark UNSCR 1325. The Resolution formed the basis for the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda at the United Nations Security Council. Over the years, UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions gave recognition to a variety of issues associated with women, modern armed conflicts and security. These included the recognition of the impact of conflict-related sexual violence on women and girls, various roles played by women in armed conflicts; calls for a greater accountability for crimes committed against women and girls in conflicts; the need to include women in all stages of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction.

Despite these advances, modern armed conflicts provide a challenge to the effective protection of women and girls, but also unveil various roles and representations of women in conflict and post-conflict settings. For instance, the reports of enslavement and mistreatment of Yezidi women and girls are contrasted with the examples of active support and participation of women in ISIS operations. In addition, the protracted nature of the conflict in Syria resulting in mass conflict-related migration brought back the debates about the effectiveness of protection afforded to persons fleeing armed conflict or situations of gross human rights violations. Furthermore, the inclusion and active involvement of women in peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction remains a major challenge.

How does international law as well as other disciplines respond to these developments? What do recent conflicts tell us about the contemporary representations of women in and at war? What lessons did we learn from the first 15 years of the WPS Agenda?

We invite proposals for papers in the following or related areas:

 Gender and conflict

 Women and conflict-related migration

 Women and ISIS

 WPS Agenda post-2015

 International Humanitarian Law: effectiveness and challenges

 International Criminal Law and the prosecution of gender-related crimes

 Representations of women in and at war

 Women, war and the media

 Women in post-conflict settings.

Women in War and at War Conference 2014

The University of Warwick, Open University Law School and Aberystwyth University are hosting the Women In and At War Conference 2014 on 18th and 19th September at Scarman House (University of Warwick).

Women’s roles in war are complex and varied. During the Arab Spring, women took to the streets protesting against oppressive regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. We are also witnessing a significant rise in female political activism during conflict: many women increasingly find the Internet, blogs and social media to be a useful tool to fight oppression, advocate change but also to report from war zones. Women actively participate in combat, but also are more visible in peace processes. 
Over the past two years, some  steps and initiatives have been taken at national and international level to address this problem, including the recent End Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict Summit (June 2014). What impact have these measures had? Will they make a real difference? Have they had any impact on the way that armed conflict is conducted?

You can find more information about the conference, including the programme at www.warwick.ac.uk/womeninwar. If you are interested in attending you can register your interest online or contact Solange Mouthaan (s.mouthaan@warwick.ac.uk). Please note there is a conference fee.

We hope that you will join us at Warwick to discuss the cutting edge issues surrounding women and war and connect with many other researchers in this field!

Call for papers: Women in War and at War Conference 2014

WOMEN IN WAR AND AT WAR: Recent Developments 

18th – 19th September 2014 / University of Warwick

 Confirmed guest speakers: Prof. Christine Chinkin, Prof. Mark Drumbl

Call for papers

Women’s roles in war are complex and varied and are not limited to that of victims. During the Arab Spring, women took to the streets protesting against oppressive regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. We are also witnessing a significant rise in female political activism during conflict: many women increasingly find Internet, blogs and social media a useful tool to fight oppression, advocate change but also to report from war zones. Many women actively participate in combat, in regular armed forces but also as guerillas and, freedom fighters. They are also compelled to fight as girl child soldiers.

Sexual violence against women remains an alarming and disturbing feature of modern armed conflicts. This is despite the fact that International Humanitarian Law (IHL) prohibits rape and other forms of sexual violence in war and despite the major advances in International Criminal Law (ICL) in the punishment of gender crimes. Over the past two years, some further steps and initiatives have been taken at national and international level to address this problem.  For instance, in June 2013 the United Nations Security Council issued Resolution 2106 on sexual violence in conflict, calling (once again) for the prevention of sexual violence during conflicts. In April 2012, the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, launched the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, which resulted in adopting a G8 Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict and endorsing the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which has been signed by 70% of UN Member States.

What impact have these measures had? Will they make a real difference? Have they had any impact on the way that armed conflict is conducted? How much can the law actually achieve? What do recent conflicts tell us about the contemporary representations of women in and at war?

This conference builds on the 2012 Women in War and at War conference held at Aberystwyth University and is designed to focus in particular on recent developments in relation to women and war.

We invite proposals for papers in the following or related areas:

–       Women and the conflict in Syria

–       Women, the Arab Spring and the aftermath

–       International Humanitarian Law: effectiveness and challenges

–       International Criminal Law and the prosecution of gender-related crimes

–       Representations of women in and at war

–       Women, war and the media

–       Women in post-conflict settings

–       Gender and conflict.

Abstracts of max. 250 words should be submitted by 28 February 2014 to womeninatwar@gmail.com. Authors of selected abstracts will be informed by mid-March 2014.

The conference is jointly organised by the University of Warwick, Aberystwyth University and The Open University.

Research Network on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

Sexual violence in armed conflict is a long-standing phenomenon. For millennia, it has proved to be one of the most powerful weapons of war and the one with arguably, the longest lasting and the most damaging impact on the victims and their communities. It continues to be used in modern armed conflicts as a cheap and powerful weapon.

The events of the past 6 months in particular, have put the topic of sexual violence in conflict back on the international agenda.  On 24th June 2013, the UN Security Council issued Resolution 2106 on sexual violence in conflict. The Resolution reaffirms the previous landmark resolutions, such as UNSCR 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1960 (2010) and issues yet another call for the prevention of, and the end to, sexual violence in armed conflict and in post-conflict situations.

Earlier this year, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, adamantly announced that prevention of sexual violence in conflict is one of the key elements on the G8 agenda. To that end, during the meeting of G8 foreign ministers in London on 11th April, a Declaration on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict was adopted.

If one judged the advancements in addressing the problem of sexual violence by its presence in the media over the past few months, one may have concluded that a success has been achieved. However, in reality, this is merely the beginning. Whilst sexual violence has been put on an international as well as several national agendas, it continues to be used in armed conflict as well as in post-conflict situations. Recent reports from Syria and Tahrir Square are a sad reminder of the continuation of sexual violence in the contemporary world. Furthermore, there are aspects of this problem that continue to be silenced: sexual violence against boys and men remains underreported and unaddressed, domestic prosecutions of acts of sexual violence committed during armed conflict are rare, and so are the prosecutions of gender crimes at the ICC. Finally, the issue of reparations for gender-specific harms only recently has started to be considered. Continue reading